Holiday Claims & Evidence – Tips for Making a Successful Compensation Claim
Holiday Compensation Claims experts Simpson Millar Solicitors LLP give practical advice on how to ensure your Holiday Claim is successful.
This week a holiday maker received £750,000 compensation for the devastating food poisoning illness he contracted during a holiday abroad.
Typical compensation awards for food poisoning range from between £2,000 and £50,000. Added to this can be a whole host of other losses such as lost earnings, medical expenses and the cost of the ruined holiday. Compensation for personal injuries can range from £1000 to £10 million.
However, compensation is not automatic. Successful holiday compensation claims require compelling evidence which a lay person is not always aware of. In English law the burden of proof rests with the person claiming compensation to prove their case.
Over the years Simpson Millar Solicitors have helped thousands of holiday makers make successful holiday compensation claims and in every case good evidence has been the key to success.
So what practical steps should you take if you or your family become ill on holiday as a result of food poisoning or shoddy hotel conditions or suffer an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness: Simpson Millar’s Holiday Team recommend that you should take the following steps:
On your return from holiday:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Should you become ill abroad it is vital that you drink fluids that will keep you hydrated. Suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting combined with hot weather will lead to dehydration very quickly.
- Keep all medical notes and receipts you are given.
- Take the names and addresses of other holiday makers who have been affected by illness or may have witnessed your accident – independent witness evidence is very persuasive – a tour operator will not be able to deny there has been a problem at a particular hotel if there are other people complaining.
- Report your illness or accident to your holiday representative. Make sure that the you receive a written report and that it is true and accurate and insist that you are given a copy of the report to keep.
- Take photographs and/or video recordings of the place where you had your accident or of aspects you were not happy with such as dirty rooms, murky swimming pools, etc. Good visual evidence is very compelling.
- Check if anything is subsequently altered. For example if the hotel has not been using wet floor warning signs but then does so after a slipping accident. Again take photographs. Your photographs will show clearly the measures that the hotel could have taken before the accident.
- If you become ill then try to list everything you ate and drank in the 72 hours before you became sick and where you consumed the food and drinks. Bacterial infections such as salmonella have an incubation period and it is likely that your tour operator will try to avoid liability by claiming that.
- Do not accept offers of compensation made on the spot. Any offer is likely to grossly undervalue your claim and if you accept it you could be deemed to have accepted the payment in full and final settlement of your claim.
- Consult your GP immediately. Many holiday makers’ illnesses are misdiagnosed abroad. If you have contracted an infection such as salmonella - cryptosporidium or E-coli you will need proper and urgent medical treatment. Your GP will also have to contact the Environmental Health Department as these conditions must be reported because they are infections that can be spread from person to person.
- Write to your tour operator straightaway setting out your grievance and allow them 28 days to respond. If you fail to receive a reply then contact ABTA and inform them that you have not received a reply. If your tour operator is an ABTA member they will be in breach of ABTA’s code of conduct if they have not replied.
- If you are unhappy with the reply you receive then contact experienced Holiday Solicitors. Do not contact a claims management company as they will simply be looking to sell your claim for a profit to solicitors on their panel who may not understand the complexities of Holiday Law. You need a specialist Holiday Law Solicitor.